Three daycare workers have been arrested after a video surfaced in which the women are said to have forced young children to fight with each other. Tiana Harris, Lisa Parker and Estefania Myers have all been charged with two counts of second-degree assault and reckless endangering, nine counts of endangering the welfare of a child and conspiracy, says Delaware Online.
The daycare center, Hands of Our Future LLC day care in Dover, Delaware, has been named the site of a “coordinated fight” and had its license suspended.
Some 75 parents attended a special, closed session with police, city and social services personnel at the Dover police station on Monday evening. Parents were not shown the video and Dover Police Capt. Tim Stump said that it will not be made public.
One of the women arrested used a cell phone to film the alleged fights in which two 3-year-olds were encouraged to fight, while some seven children “roamed in the area,” say court records. Delaware Online describes what allegedly occurred which, all the more for any parent who has had a child in daycare, is sickening to read:
While the two children punched each other in the face and head, the toddler taking the brunt of the punches was grabbed by Parker and “forced to continue in the physical altercation,” police said in court records.
Harris and Myers were “shown and heard laughing and encouraging the altercation,” police said.
One victim could be heard “screaming and crying and holding his face while being punched” by the other toddler, police said.
KWY-TV also reports that, according to Dover police, one child can be heard crying and yelling “He’s pinching me” to which a daycare worker responds, “No pinching, only punching.”
Parents who attended the Monday meeting at the Dover police station expressed shock and disbelief. Amy Bickerling, whose 4-year-old son attended Hands of Our Future LLC day care, said it was a “clean, well-run facility with friendly staff” and that she had gone on field trips with the staff and had “never seen anything irregular.” Another parent, Cristyl Slack, said that she had known Myers for all of her life and expressed outrage, as her daughter was present in the room during the alleged fight.
All I can say is, what were those three women thinking, encouraging — telling — children to aggress and harm each other? A parent wants, of course, to trust child care providers; for the parents whose children were at Hands of Our Future LLC day care, that trust has been terribly betrayed. Stories like this one make one feel that all childcare centers need surveillance cameras or some other mechanism to make sure that our children are safe.
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